It’s come down to AWS vs. Microsoft Azure—too bad


Have you watched the recent earnings reports lately? Amazon posted total revenue across all segments of $43.7 billion for the quarter. Amazon Web Services contributed just over 10 percent of that at $4.6 billion. If you’re keeping track, AWS’s revenue increased 41 percent from this time last year. That’s impressive growth, and right in line with the explosive growth of cloud computing in general. 

Then we have Microsoft, which posted total revenues of $24.5 billion. Although the company does not give specific numbers for Azure, the company’s “intelligent cloud” segment (more Azure) went up 13 percent to $6.9 billion over the last year, and the “productivity and business processes” segment (more Office 365) grew 28 percent to $8.2 billion.

These numbers show that the growth of the public cloud IaaS market is concentrated around two providers: Amazon and Microsoft. The market is living up to the adage “success breeds success.” There’s an established buying pattern in IT, where we chase the most successful providers, or at least those perceived as such.

However, I can’t help but think that we’re leaving a few cloud services behind that deserve enterprise IT consideration. 

is more optimal than settling after a single provider. You’ll get trade-offs if you focus on an all-AWS or all-Azure solution. 

I’m a best-of-breed advocate. The money saved and the risks avoided in selecting the optimal set of cloud technologies will likely save you millions a year. That does not mean that a homogeneous public cloud solution won’t work, just that it is typically not optimized and thus increases your costs in ways few enterprises account for

The question is whether you should trade away the benefits of having the optimal technology stack for your specific needs for the convenience benefits of a single provider. Don’t just guess before you decide.